In This Issue....
|From the Editor....
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware."
If you have a good command leader or at least well defined trails and a good sense of direction and knowledge of the region, you pretty much can determine where your dogs will be taking you.
Where our dogs are taking Mark and me along the trail of life has not been nearly as predictable, but thanks to them, we continue to roll by some great "scenery". This past April, we returned to the North after a seven-year absence. More significant than the interval between arctic journeys was the destination, Nunavik, and the opportunity to meet face-to-face for the first time Allen Gordon, Mark Brazeau, Daniel Annanack and the Individual Paths of Learning students who are now printing, assembling and mailing the hard copy version of The Fan Hitch. For some time, we had been yearning to thank all these folks in person for their contributions to the ISDI, The Fan Hitch and, most important of all, their work on the resurgence of the pure ISD to their region.
Among the 'canid' related activities were a wild dog sled ride over bare tundra and rocks, right through some hapless tamarack trees(!), across frozen lakes, hummock-riddled and spiked with ice jumbles. We helped vaccinate dogs and collect DNA from them and some wolf hides as well. An impromptu interview, translated into Inuktitut on the fly, for local CBC radio about the 'purpose' of our visit, the ISDI and Inuit Dogs came as a complete surprise. We accompanied two dog teams to a camp site and sat in a big round tent with Mark, Daniel and the IPL students, snapping digital pictures, teasing each other and eating fried caribou and onion sandwiches. We also traded insignia patches with the chief of the Kuujjuaq fire hall and learned about northern firefighting techniques, met and chatted with many absolutely wonderful people, were given tours of the schools, the towns and the very special Arctic Char fish hatchery. We enjoyed spectacular scenery in all directions and helped search by helicopter for three missing snow machine travelers (eventually found safe).
If it had been predicted that in the years following 1994 (the year of our first journey by Inuit Dog team out of Pond Inlet) we would be connected with scores wonderful and fascinating people all over globe and would participate in far flung activities beyond our wildest imagination - all owing to that first experience and our subsequent involvement with Inuit Dogs - we would never have believed it possible.
What's down the next trail? Who knows where our Inuit Dogs will lead us. Owning them has challenged, enriched and transformed our lives in ways we could have never imagined or predicted. As John McGrath said, "It's the law of unintended consequences."
I'd love to hear from readers whose Inuit Dogs have taken them on unexpected metaphorical journeys.
Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,